One family is speaking out after suffering an anti-Semitic experience from Spirit Airlines flight attendants.
Chana and Yisroel Beck flew out of Newark Airport on Tuesday with their six-week-old and two and three-year-old daughters for a weeklong trip to Fort Lauderdale.
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“It was our first family trip, a nice, beautiful vacation that turned into a traumatic experience—a nightmare from the way we were treated and how we were escorted off without being told what we did wrong,” Chana, 25, told The New York Post on Thursday.
The nightmare began when they tried to take their FAA-approved Doona baby carriage onto the Spirit flight. The gate agent allowed the Becks to take it on the plane, but when two flight attendants at the plane entrance saw it, things took a turn.
“One of them said, ‘There is no way this is coming on. I don’t care who approved it at the gate. I’m the boss here and I’m going to decide if it comes on or not,’” Chana said.
Chana’s husband Yisroel, 28, folded the carriage and since it converted into a car seat, the flight attendants allowed him to take it to their seats. But then another Spirit Airlines crew member backtracked that allowance.
They reportedly said, “I’m not going to discuss this—this seat is going off the plane now,” according to Chana.
Another flier who witnessed the experience between the Becks and flight attendants overheard a steward say, “those retarded Jews” in conversation with another female flight attendant before the plane took off.
Binyamin, a 24-year-old passenger was so shocked by the statement that he told the couple he would vouch for their horrible experience. He said, “It was clearly anti-Semitism, a personal thing.”
It didn’t end there.
After the plane was airborne and the seat belt sign was turned off, Yisroel moved to his wife’s three-seat row with his 2-year-old on his lap, but a male flight attendant ordered him back to his seat saying that there weren’t enough oxygen masks in case of an emergency and five people couldn’t be in one row.
“My husband didn’t argue and returned to his seat,” Chana said. “The steward, who is called Jose, told my husband ‘shut up’ when he asked him for his last name. He said, ‘You’re going to have law enforcement meeting you when the plane lands.’”
When the plane landed, two police officers and two Spirit supervisors escorted the family off without explaining why.
“We had no idea what was happening and why they were escorting us off. We had no idea why they were making a big deal,” Chana said. “The supervisors said the (attendants) had notes on us, that we weren’t listening and that ‘just like you want us to believe your story, we have to believe what they wrote about you.’”
To make things worse, Spirit Airlines said that the Becks’ return tickets for January 15 would not be honored and that they were banned from Spirit.
The Becks contacted Former Assemblyman Dov Hikind about the incident. He told The New York Post, “This family was traumatized, and their family vacation ruined by the unprofessional behavior of the airline staff,” he said in a statement. “The comment about ‘retarded Jews’ qualifies the steward for dismissal. Spirit has much explaining to do.”
Spirit spokesman Derek Dombrowski said that the airline “records indicate that this guest ignored flight and ground crew instructions multiple times, beginning with the boarding process and continuing through landing.”
Dombrowski claims the airline will “launch an investigation and take these matters very seriously.”
“The safety of our Guests and crew is our top priority,” he added in a statement. “Spirit Airlines does not tolerate any form of discrimination. We are extremely proud of the diversity of our team and strive to provide exceptional service to all of our Guests.”
Chana would like to see the anti-Semitic crew member fired and have the family reimbursed for their tickets.
As Chana said, “It was pure anti-Semitism for literally nothing.”
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